Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Summary

From the good folks at NRDC.
This morning’s summary
All eyes are on claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg this week as he takes over the $20 billion fund set up by BP and decides how it will be distributed to oil spill victims. Early word is that plenty of people on the Gulf are worried about how BP and the government intend to compensate those affected. Shrimpers are complaining about a plan to deduct whatever they earn cleaning up the spill from their final settlement, which they assert means that the oil company is trying to escape paying them for dangerous cleanup work. Lawyers representing businesses hurt by the spill said their clients should not have to forgo claims against other subcontractors involved in the spill just because they had reached a settlement with BP. And then there are Feinberg’s encouraging words adding to the confusion: “Just because you aren’t on the Gulf,” Mr. Feinberg said, “that doesn’t mean you are barred from receiving compensation.” Meanwhile, there are new numbers about the impact of a drilling moratorium on the Gulf. A study, by the Interior Department, estimated a loss of as many as 23,000 jobs if the moratorium continued as planned through Nov. 30. Another study puts the overall job loss for the region at 100,000 from the catastrophe.

Quotable quote
“I think we have moved since the Exxon Valdez to the expectation in this country that we’ll have the whole of government response – National Incident Coordinator Thad Allen

And this one, too
“I take the position, if I won’t find you eligible, I believe no court will find you eligible” – claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg

National News

Businessweek: BP starts removing drill pipe
The next phase of shutting down the oil spill has started. BP Plc started “fishing” for a section of drill pipe it must remove before replacing the blowout preventer atop the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. National Incident Coordinator Thad Allen said BP must let the U.S. government know how it can remove the sealing cap and blowout preventer while keeping them sufficiently intact for investigators trying to assess the cause of the explosion.

Read more:

See this one, too

AP: Feinberg takes blame for ‘No Sue’ rule
Claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg said Sunday it was his idea, not BP’s, to require that anyone who receives a final settlement from the $20 billion compensation fund give up the right to sue the oil giant. The condition has been met with growing anger from Gulf coast residents. Feinberg said he has not yet decided whether the no-sue requirement will extend to other companies that may be responsible for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. And late Sunday, Feinberg appeared to back away from that requirement.“The question of whether or not a final payment will require a claimant to release one defendant, BP or all defendants, has not yet been resolved by me,” Feinberg said in a telephone press conference with reporters late Sunday.

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New York Times: Spill fund more challenging for Feinberg than 9-11 decisions
Claims manager Kenneth Feinberg has a big job ahead of him to parcel out BP’s $20b fund for spill victims. It’s expected to be harder than his job deciding how much money families were entitled to from the loss of life due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Analysts say it may be more challenging to estimate the long-term harm to a shrimper’s business than the value of a fatality from the 9-11 terrorist attack.

Read more:

See this one, too

PNJ: Feinberg opens new chapter on oil claims
Claims administrator Ken Feinberg takes over the Gulf oil claims distribution on Monday, promising to make it fast, make it easy and make the victims of the oil spill whole.

Read more:–Gulf-Coast-staking-its-claim

Check this one out, too
Times-Picayune: Oil spill claims centers to open Monday

Houston Chronicle: More hearings asking what happened
In a fourth round of public hearings — the first to take place in Houston – a federal panel Monday will once again question key witnesses from BP, rig owner Transocean and oil services firm Halliburton Co. to narrow in on root causes of the incident. The investigation by the joint panel of the U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement is one of several ongoing probes into the accident. On Wednesday, a White House commission appointed in June will hold its second public meeting in Washington to investigate what happened, too.

Read more:

AP: Drilling moratorium costs 23k jobs
There’s plenty of tension eating away at the Obama administration over the loss of jobs as a result of the six-month drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. A memo by Michael Bromwich, the nation’s top drilling regulator, estimates the six-month ban would directly put more than 9,000 people out of work and indirectly affect another 14,000 jobs. That’s a big enough argument that is likely to persuade the Obama administration to lift that ban early.

Read more:

Check this out, too

All247news: Oil spill may cause loss of 100,000 jobs
Job loss on the Gulf since the oil spill is becoming painful. Approximately 100,000 jobs may be lost due to this disaster. Tens of thousands of commercial fishermen have been unable to work during the spill, a suspension that many may simply not recover from. But it is not only the fishermen that have been impacted, of course. Companies that provide services to the fishermen, foods processing companies, even restaurants and other support services for offshore oil exploration have seen their business all but disappear. Many of these businesses, already barely hanging on during the Great Recession, may simply be unable to weather this latest setback and close entirely. It’s dismay and getting worse.

Read more:

Science Magazine: Health impact from oil spill still a blank page
The ecological damage from the Gulf oil spill is well-know. What’s still unknown is how extensive the health damage will be. Air quality, skin irritation, mental health and seafood safety are the primary areas of short and long term health concerns, according to Science Magazine. Taking a page from past oil spills, there’s likely to be an increase in respiratory problems, DNA alterations, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological stress and self-reported neurological impairment in workers and local residents, the magazine said.

Read more:

USA Today: Fed agency investigating oil explosion overwhelmed, understaffed
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, a federal agency charged with investigating the explosion that led to the BP oil spill, says it is so overburdened and understaffed it will have to close some investigations early and delay others to shift its staff to BP.

Read more by Donna Leinwald

Los Angeles Times: Investigators want answers about oil well design
Look out for another explosive hearing on Monday about the Gulf oil spill. Federal investigators on Monday are expected to confront executives and managers of BP and rig owner Transocean Ltd. about catastrophic failures in oil well design and disabled safety systems that may have played a role in the deaths of 11 crewmen on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon. The joint U.S. Coast Guard- Interior Department investigation will take place in Houston.

Read more:,0,1831584.story


Washington Post: Op-ed by Ret. Adm. Thad Allen
We are poised to finish this response and move to long-term recovery. It has been one of the more consequential exercises in adapting the elements of national power together with local government and the private sector to deal with problems of unprecedented complexity. No one is claiming victory or “mission accomplished” at this point, nor should we. We should, however, recognize what has been done, National Incident Commander Thad Allen writes.

Read more by Allen:


Times-Picayune: Upside to oil spill: More national awareness
Three months of daily newscasts have dramatically increased national awareness of the state’s real coastal disaster, and the billions in fines BP is expected to pay could bankroll critical projects Congress, experts say.

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Times-Picayune: New lawsuit to test punitive damages for oil spill
Even before the leak is plugged, the court battles over money and responsibility continue to grow. In the latest legal action, a class action lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans charges that BP and other companies involved in drilling the ill-fated Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico should be held liable for punitive damages

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AP: Leno raises $100,000 for Gulf
“Welcome, BP stockholders!” cracked comedian Jay Leno, the first of several oil-spill jokes the NBC late-night television host delivered Saturday at a sold-out show at the Beau Rivage Casino Resort. It was a good night for Leno and a great one for the Gulf. Ticket sales raised $100,000.

Read more:,0,6093038.story Survey: Tourists scared away from Gulf
The fallout from the Gulf oil spill is scaring tourists away from the region, according to a new survey by the San Francisco-based Destination Analysts Inc. It found that 80 percent of those surveyed were unlikely to visit the Gulf. Images of oiled birds and tar-soaked beaches are much more prevalent than sandy white beaches and fun times according to the survey.

Read more:


UVA Magazine: An almost forgotten oil spill

Why haven’t more Americans heard about one of the largest accidental oil spills in history? A hurricane and a reversal of the currents off Texas drove the slick into open water and back toward Mexico. In the U.S., only 165 miles of Texas coastline were affected. In the end, a few thousand seabirds were reported dead in U.S. waters. Much of the oil settled in the bottom of the Gulf or evaporated. And that’s the story of Ixtoc I Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a disaster that has many lessons for today’s Gulf oil spill.

Read more:


5 years after Katrina – “You can’t compare a hurricane to this slick we have coming in”


One Response to “Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Summary”

  1. i200908 Says:

    Wow, very nice. thank you!

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